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January 18, 2001 - Image 11

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-18

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12B - Michigan Daily - We nd, etc.Magazine - Thurs , January 18, 2001

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A STEP BY STEP GUIDE FROM CRUSH TO DATE

You see them every day in class,
utter an awkward "hello" when you
p.ss in the street and push your way
through crowds of people at a party
getting beer spilled on you to catch a
glimpse of-
them. And you
live from day to
day with the
knowledge that
your crush will
be nothing more
than a crush
until one of you
gets up the
nerve to do
something.
Yes, I'm talk- Lindsey
ing about mak-
ing the first Alpert
move, asking tOr
someone out,
moving toward Get Out
b e c o m i n g
"more than friends." And while this
seems so easy -- you like the person
and they probably like you too - I've
seen numerous people, friends and foes
dike, get stuck at the very first step of
forming a relationship. If you can't
master this step, then why bother with
anything else, because it all starts here.
Now don't get me wrong, dating and
relationships are supposed to be fun,
that's pretty much the point of them. So
then why is there fear, pain and anxiety
involved in an activity that's supposed
to be fun?
Well, I can answer that in a cynical
way, explaining that our bodies are jolt-
ed with a massive amount of hormones
right about when we start dating and
it's just nature's way of messing with
us. However, that's not the point of this
column, so I will refrain from cynicism

and address the issues at hand.
The number one scary thing about
asking someone out? Rejection. The
big evil word. No one wants to be a
reject, and when you put yourself on
the line by taking a risk, the chances of
rejection have just grown 100 percent.
Does this mean you'll get 100 per-
cent rejected? Of course not. It just
means that while you weren't taking a
risk, the second that you do, the chance
of rejection is present. But, don't for-
get, the chance of acceptance and the
chance to move on to the next step have
also grown 100 percent.
So then, what do we do knowing that
the chance of rejection and the chance
of acceptance are both present and
accounted for when asking out a crush?
Risk-management.
People from all walks of life, busi-
ness people, doctors, etc., use this tech-
nique to save their skins, so having
human instincts, we also tend to use
this technique. Luckily, (or in some
drastic cases, hopefully), our tech-
niques have evolved from the third
grade method of passing a note in class
asking your crush to check one box if
they like you and the other if they
don't.,
The friends' medium, which might
have existed in grade school, still exists
at all levels of the dating world, proba-
bly due to its effectiveness. In the best-
case scenario, you have a mutual friend
who'll be able to give you the thumbs-
up or the thumbs-down on whether or
not to act on your feelings.
If you don't have a mutual friend,
you might be forced to cross enemy
lines and seek information from your
crush's pals. There's a plus and a minus
to this strategy. Being the optimist,
we'll start with the plus.

Your crush's friends have the best
interest of their friend (well, at least
let's hope!), in mind, and would like to
see them happy. They'd probably also
like for their friend to shut-up already
about how much they like you and
move on already. Because of this, if
their friend is into you, they'll tell you.
The minus to this situation is that
they have the best interest of their
friend in mind and hold no allegiance
to you. Whatever you talk about with
them, your crush will probably find out
about. Not that this is necessarily bad
all the time, but if you are rejected then
your crush will find out about it.
Another method of risk-management
is to pay attention to signals, body lan-
guage and what your crush says to you.
I think that you can get a pretty good
idea - though not perfect - of
whether or not your crush feels the
same way.
Of course there's no formula to tell
for sure because signals can vary from
person to person, but if you want to
know what types of body language,
such as if their toes are pointing toward
you, they brush your arm while you're
talking, blah, blah, blah, go pick up an
issue of "Seventeen" and leave me
alone!
Ok, so you've made it through all the
risk-management, you're talked to all
your crush's weird friends and your
heart is pounding through your chest;
it's time to make your move.
You may have noticed that I haven't
made any reference to gender yet, and
there's a reason for that. It doesn't real-
lv matter who does the asking, male or
female. Talking to both groups of peo-
ple, neither seems to mind which sex
does the asking, and both sexes
responded that being asked out is con-

sidered flattering.
There are of course the traditional
ape-men who feel that typical gender
roles should stand regardless, and if
you get rejected by them because you
as a female asked them out, count your
blessings and be glad that you didn't
wind up stuck on a date with the lug.
Now that the gender issue is cleared
up, the method of asking needs to be
taken into account. Typically, asking in
person has been the method used most
often, although telephone and even e-
mail invitations are beginning to
become accepted. I recommend that
you only take the telephone or e-mail
route if you have an exact tine, date
and place of an activity, or else it feels
like a cop-out.
If you choose the face-to-face ver-
sion, probably the noblest of the meth-
ods, you're also taking the biggest risk.
You have to come up with not only
something to say at the spur of the
moment, but you also have to watch out
for trouble speaking (frog in throat,
inaudible tones, etc.), excessive fidget-
ing as well as facial expressions.
You can't look too eager, but at the
same time you can't look too with-
drawn. And then you have to be able to
keep your face in a similar position
whether your date has been accepted or
not.
Most invitations should be kept short
and to the. point. Of course you might
want to make some small talk before
jumping right into the asking out, but
be sure not to have too much or you
might lose your nerve, or it will look
painfully obvious that you're too scared
to say what's really on your mind.
So you've done the asking and it's
time for them to answer. Typically,
you'll get one of three responses; "yes,
"no;' or "no, but maybe some other

time."
The "yes" and "no" are pretty
straightforward. You get a "yes," won-
derful, good for you, have fun and
enjoy yourself. Your risk management
has served you well. You get a "no," oh,
that's too bad. But at least you tried and
made an effort and it'll hopefully be all
the easier the next time you ask some-
one out.
But if you get a "no, maybe some
other time," you're still not entirely
sure where you stand. Sometimes they
really are busy but they'd be interested
in dating you in the future. This is
sometimes remedied by them actually
supplying an additional time, "I can't
do anything Friday, but how about
Saturday?"
Of course, it doesn't always work
this way, and you can't be certain if the
time you suggested really isn't good
for them, or if they're just trying to be
nice and lessen your rejection. I'd rec-
ommend either asking for a follow-up
time immediately after the initial ask-
ing, or else asking again on another
occasion. If they can't commit to a
time after the second asking, even
though it's still possible they are busy,
there's a good chance they're sending
you a hint and it'd be wise to take it
and move on.
No one thinks it's easy putting
evervthing on the line and risking your
pride and dignity again and again, but
the more you try, the better chance you
have of reaping the rewards that can
come along with dating. So even if
you've asked and been refused.
remember that there is someone out
there who won't refuse, but you'll
never find them by curling up in the
corner of defeat.
- Lindsey A/pert can he reached at
Ia/p1ert awnich.ediu

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